Maya Angelou, the “people’s poet,” left a hole in the soul of America when she died at the age of 86 this Wednesday, but she will always live on in her immortal poetry, words of wisdom, autobiographical works and, yes, her TV appearances. While most know Dr. Angelou best for her written work, she was one of the most multi-talented artists of the past century. There are many things the casual observer may not know about Maya Angelou, as this Inquisitr article points out. In addition to her autobiographies and lauded poetry, Maya was an accomplished cook (she considered it a form of communication), dancer, stage actress and singer. On top of all that, Maya Angelou gave us some of the most memorable moments in TV history. Here are five of the most memorable TV moments featuring Maya Angelou:
5. Maya Angelou speaks about The Bible miniseries. In 2013, the History Channel featured a five week, ten hour series about the Bible, hosted by Roma Downey (with whom Angelou also shared the small screen as a guest on Touched By An Angel, which narrowly missed our cut). Maya said that the series “brings to life all that shaped my life.” She claims in the video that the Bible helped her to live, to survive and to thrive and that “if you have love, you will see love” in the series. Dr. Angelou speaks three times in the promo, interspersed with snipers of the miniseries.
[Video vis YouTube]
4. Oprah Winfrey shares her favorite lesson learned from Maya Angelou. There are actually so many great moments with Maya and Oprah on TV that we could just as easily do an article dedicated to those alone, so picking a top one was tough. Many will probably think a snippet from There Are no Children Here or Maya’s surprise visit on Oprah’s farewell episode should have been chosen, and it would be hard to argue against that, but the idea of America’s talk show host and the people’s poet having a down to earth discussion in their PJs (even if it might come off as silly if it were anyone other than Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Maya Angelou) is both poignant and heartwarming. And, it’s still good advice:
[Video via YouTube/OWN]
3. Maya Angelou becomes just the second poet to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. Maya Angelou recited her poem On the Pulse of Morning for President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Dr. Angelou wrote the poem especially for the occasion:
[Video via YouTube/Educational Video Group]
2. Maya Angelou tells us how to get to Sesame Street…or at least what to do with our names once we get there. Maya actually made numerous visits to Sesame Street and was one of the show’s most popular guests. She also shows off some solid singing chops, perhaps a throwback to her early career in music and dance.
[Video via YouTube/Sesame Street]
1. Maya Angelou as Kunta Kinte’s grandmother Nyo Boto in Roots. Rootstook television miniseries to a whole new level. Co-star LeVar Burton (check out this Inquisitr article about the top 10 things you didn’t know about LeVar), who played Kunta Kinte and who is currently in the process of revivingReading Rainbow, claims that the show helped both white and black people to look at one another as human beings instead of stereotypes. This snippet shows a very human moment between Maya Angelou and LeVar Burton’ characters Kunta and Nyo:
[Video via YouTube/HowardMusicEvents]
You’ve seen our picks for Maya Angelou’s most memorable TV moments. What TV moments do you think showed Maya Angelou at her best?
[Image via Shutterstock]